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Landscape with Cows by Eugene Boudin

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Landscape with Cows by Eugene Boudin

- Item No.

A lush landscape and brilliant sky distinguish this oil by Eugène Louis Boudin

Key Features

  • This timeless landscape by Eugène Louis Boudin captures cows grazing at water's edge
  • This oil on canvas exemplifies Boudin's mastery of the sky-filled view
  • Signed "E. Boudin" (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • Canvas: 15 7/8" high x 21 7/8" wide; Frame: 20 3/16" high x 26 1/8" wide

Item Details

  • Width:
    C: 21 7/8; F: 26 1/8 Inches
  • Height:
    C: 15 7/8; F:20 3/16 Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    France
  • Subject:
    Landscapes
  • Artist:
    Boudin, Eugene
Eugène Louis Boudin
1824-1898 · French

Landscape with Cows

Signed "E. Boudin" (lower right)
Oil on canvas

"You are the master of the sky."  -Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

This tranquil landscape painting, depicting cows grazing near water's edge, is the work of master French Impressionist Eugène Louis Boudin. One of the first French landscape artists to paint mostly outdoors, Boudin achieved a mastery of his specialty equal to that of his English predecessors Constable, Bonington, and Turner, and the accomplishments of France's own Barbizon landscapists. Known especially for his depictions of ships on quiet waterways and bathers at the beach, he painted only a handful of scenes focusing on farm animals, and even fewer of cows in pasture.

A mentor to acclaimed French Impressionists, Boudin profoundly affected and influenced the works of celebrated artists such as Renoir and Monet. His passion for movement and the natural world further inspired artists of all mediums, including Baudelaire. In 1857, Boudin met Claude Monet, who spent several months working with him in and out of his studio. Responsible for introducing Monet to this method of painting en plein air, Monet returned the compliment by painting the beach at Trouville, one of Boudin's iconic scenes, several years later. Indicative of the esteem in which he was held by the Impressionists, Boudin joined Monet and his young friends in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, but never considered himself a radical or innovator. 

Born into a seafaring family near the town of Honfleur, Normandy, Boudin worked as cabin boy onboard the steamer that sailed between Havre and Honfleur across the estuary of the Seine. In 1835, his family moved to Le Havre, where his father established himself as a stationer and frame-maker. Boudin began work the next year as an assistant to his father shortly before opening his own small shop. There he came into contact with artists working in the area and exhibited in his shop the paintings of Constant Troyon and Jean-François Millet, who, along with Jean-Baptiste Isabey and Thomas Couture, encouraged young Boudin to follow an artistic career. At the age of 22, he abandoned the world of commerce and journeyed to Paris to begin painting exclusively. In 1850, he earned a scholarship that enabled him to take permanent residence in Paris, although he often traveled to paint in Normandy and, from 1855, made regular trips to Brittany. 

Seventeeth-century Dutch masters profoundly influenced Boudin, and upon meeting the Dutch painter Johan Jongkind (who already made his mark in French artistic circles), he was advised by his new friend to paint outdoors "en plein air." Although often described as "the painter of beaches," the beach itself, in many of his paintings, only occupies a portion of the canvas. It is the large, luminous sky that predominates his work. Boudin studied nature directly on the Normandy coast at the fashionable resorts of Deauville and Trouville. His seascapes and beach scenes were painted at many different times of the year and in a variety of changing weather conditions. Boudin's overriding concern was light, and in his dabs of pure color and loose and delicate brushwork, he prefigured Impressionism, marking the link between Corot and the Impressionists.  

Boudin's growing reputation enabled him to travel extensively in the 1870s. He visited Belgium, the Netherlands, and southern France, and from 1892 to 1895, made regular trips to Venice. He continued to exhibit at the Paris Salon, receiving a third place medal in 1881 and a gold medal at the 1889 Exposition Universelle. In 1892, Boudin was made a knight of the Légion d'honneur, a somewhat tardy recognition of his talents and influence on the art of his contemporaries. 

Canvas: 15 7/8" high x 21 7/8" wide
Frame: 20 3/16" high x 26 1/8" wide 

Select Artist's Exhibits:
Salon, Paris
Exposition Universelle, Paris

Select Artist's Museums:
Stockholm National Museum, Germany
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
State Hermitage Museum, Russia
Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums, Scotland
Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco
The National Gallery, London
The Louvre, France
Alencon, France
Alger, France
Dieppe, France
Honfleur, France
Le Havre, France
Nantes, France
Reims, France

Artist's Awards and Honors:
Third Place Medal, Salon, Paris, 1881
Gold Medal, Exposition Universelle, 1889
Knight, Légion d'honneur, 1892

References:
19th-Century Art, 1984, Robert Rosenblum & H.W. Janson
Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 1976, E. Bénézit
Painting by William Bouguereau

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